Report: GM eyes Android for in-vehicle telematics

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

General Motors (GM) is reportedly in talks with Google to develop in-vehicle telematics that could potentially challenge Ford's Sync platform.

"One [source] says Google would sell its Android operating system for in-car use. Like Sync, Google's Android would allow GM customers to pair their vehicles with almost any brand of smartphone," explained Todd Lassa of MotorTrend.

Report: GM eyes Android for in-vehicle telematics"While Android would offer GM serious competition for Ford [and Microsoft's] popular Sync, the Google hookup wouldn't be an entirely parallel competitor with the Microsoft system."

According to Lassa, an Android-based system could allow drivers to open, start and/or adjust their cars and trucks with their smartphones - a feature that Microsoft has yet to offer Ford customers.

In addition, Android would also facilitate improved two-way communication between a smartphone and the car, while outperforming GM-owned OnStar's turn-by-turn navigation system.

"[This is] because Android would use its own GPS map navigation...[It] could be a sticking point in negotiations between Google and GM," he added.

It should be noted that adoption of telematics systems in passenger cars and commercial vehicles is expected to increase from less than 10% in 2010 to 23% in 2015.

"An important enabler of telematics systems is the explosive growth of converged technology. Both consumer and commercial telematics vendors have embarked on the integration of smartphones and portable devices into their systems," ABI Research told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.

"Hybrid solutions will become very important as demonstrated by Ford recently having welcomed its two-millionth Sync customer in the US. In the commercial segment companies such as Telenav, TomTom, and Garmin have successfully developed converged, portable fleet solutions."